Students raise money for winter heating

Night in a box event Nov. 14
By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Oct 18, 2013

Spending the night in a cardboard box may not sound like a fun way to spend a Monday night, but that is what Tuscola High School students plan to do on Nov. 14 to raise money and awareness.

Tuscola junior Austin Cowan is a member of the SWAT Team, a club that strives to give back and help the community. The SWAT Team is holding the “Night in a box” event to raise awareness to the fact that many families in Haywood County can’t afford to heat their homes in the winter.

Cowan and other club members are asking businesses to donate a minimum of $50 to sponsor one of the students sleeping in a box at Tuscola High School. The business’ logo will be placed on one of the boxes and all the money donated will be given to Mountain Projects for its heating assistance program. Mountain Projects uses the money to help people pay their heating bills.

“Personally my mom and dad weren’t the wealthiest in the world and we went through Mountain Projects to pay our heating bill,” Cowan said. “I don’t know where I’d be without them.”

To show his appreciation and to help others, Cowan will be one of the students sleeping in a box with only a sleeping bag to keep him warm on Nov. 14 at the high school.

So far the club has raised several hundred dollars from businesses, but Cowan said more sponsors are needed. Anyone can give a donation by calling Cowan at 550-7618 until Nov. 14 when the event is planned. Some businesses that have already signed up are Walmart, Tractor Supply and Nick and Nate’s.

“You can give pocket change or whatever you can give,” he said. “Every penny helps.”

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